money tree

“Kids inherit money. We don’t want it.”

Sometimes too much inheritance all at once is a threat to moral development, it’s true, but sometimes a gift can threaten a college education by complicating financial aid.

As parents of the college-bound understand to a dizzying degree, financial aid is a difficult calculus of have and have not. It is often an entirely necessary salvation. Unfortunately, the types of income a parent or a student of a parent receive will have dramatic influences both on the availability of financial aid and the ease with which it is attained.

In other words, sometimes an inheritance can be a threat to financial aid and the college degree of a young person, especially if there are family issues at play.

Enter the story of “Robin” as relayed in a recent Forbes article titled “An Inheritance That Could Foul Financial Aid.” Truth be told, the story of Robin and the potential difficulties of her children with financial aid is as much a story of family disagreement as it is of grumpy institutional curmudgeonry. Nevertheless, it is worth considering Robin’s story of family disagreement and the details a FAFSA will sniff out, even if they are not available and true.

What is even more important is to understand that different assets, inheritances and gifts will have a serious effect on financial aid, taxation and/or financial viability for higher education. If your goal is to financially assist your loved ones through college, then there are some very specific types of gifts to consider without jeopardizing financial aid in the process.

Reference: Forbes (November 18, 2013) “An Inheritance That Could Foul Financial Aid

For more information on asset preservation and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.